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PFL Exec: First Pay-Per-View a Success, Harrison vs. ‘Cyborg’ Still Possible



Professional Fighters League made its first foray into the pay-per-view market last week, and according to promotion co-founder Donn Davis, that venture was a success.

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The 2022 PFL Championships featured six championship bouts along with a women’s featherweight showcase for a price point of $49.99 on ESPN+. Though Davis wouldn’t reveal a buy rate for the event in an interview with ESPN, he seemed happy with the overall results.

"Our top priority was to put on a premium product that everyone who bought the fights said, 'I'm glad I bought it,' and everyone who didn't buy heard it was a great show and said, 'I'm going to buy the next one,'" Davis said. "And on both of those, it was a success. People who bought it loved it. And the buzz around the fight has been the highest it's ever been, no question.”

No fight on the card generated more buzz than the main event, which saw Larissa Pacheco upset Kayla Harrison to capture the women’s lightweight championship and a $1 million payout. While Harrison losing her undefeated mystique would seem to be a bad thing for the PFL, Davis doesn’t necessarily think so, especially in regards to a potential superfight with Bellator featherweight queen Cristiane Justino.

"I have a counter view to the Twitter universe," Davis said. "My view is simple: Cris was scared of Kayla and unwilling to take that fight prior to [last Friday]. I believe there was zero chance of that fight happening due to Cyborg's fear of Kayla. Now, I think the odds of that fight happening have gone way up, and I still believe Kayla wins that fight.”

Justino is currently scheduled for her second boxing match next month, but a date for her MMA return is unclear. “Cyborg” has denied that PFL ever offered a deal to fight Harrison, but Davis believes the possibility for the bout is as strong as ever. The promotion is expected to hold at least two pay-per-view events outside of its season format in 2023, according to ESPN.

"PFL has offered that fight and Kayla has offered that fight," Davis said. "We've offered the highest-guaranteed purse in female MMA history for that fight, and Cris Cyborg has refused. There is nothing standing in the way of that fight happening other than Cris Cyborg. If she wants to cement her legacy, make money and prove she's better than Kayla Harrison in the cage instead of Twitter, she'd take the fight -- because she's the only reason it hasn't happened."

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